One-hundred and seventy patients traversed an indoor passageway yesterday connecting the old C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital as the hospitals’ new $754 million home opened for business yesterday.

Over an eight-hour period, 170 patients from every department of the hospital made the transition to the 348 inpatient rooms, 50 maternity rooms, 48 neonatal intensive care rooms and 16 operating rooms in the new building.

The outpatient facilities will continue to be transitioned into the new space throughout next week. Once the move is complete, the old hospital facility will consist of single rooms for adult patients.

The transfer process began last Wednesday when hospital staff started categorizing the patients by severity of symptoms in order to move individuals with more serious conditions first, according to University spokeswoman Margarita Wagerson. Last Saturday night, staff members began preparations for the transition and started to move patients yesterday morning at 7 a.m.

Patients in the newborn intensive care unit and children in other intensive care units were moved into the new space first. The last patient settled in by 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon.

Kara Gavin, University of Michigan Health System spokeswoman, said the most impressive aspect of the project was its scope.

“I was walking around the building in the hours before the different areas started to move and it’s amazing that even as big as this building is, everything is ready,” Gavin said.

Thousands of staff members and about 300 volunteers, mostly comprised of members of the UMHS community, contributed to the effort. To ensure patients were well fed and hydrated, meals were provided from Plum Market in Ann Arbor.

To make the move more exciting for patients, the staff developed a theme of traveling on an airplane and provided small gifts, such as backpacks, blankets and coloring books.

Kathy Wade, director of social work for UMHS, said the theme was intended to create a welcoming environment for the hospital community.

“We really tried to address it from babies to kids to adolescents to teenagers that are moving,” Wade said. “And the families, we’ve involved them since the very beginning.”

Gavin said nurses and staff members of one intensive care unit even made Top Gun T-shirts to follow the theme.

“It was a way of making it fun for the kids and for the staff and of thinking about it as a journey,” Gavin said. “A very short journey, but a journey.”

Throughout the day, updates were posted on UHS’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Photos and postings generated comments from those connected to the hospital, many offering memories of the hospital or thanking hospital staff. Others wrote questions about where new departments will be located and how the move was progressing.

Gavin said parents of past patients and future patients were eager to see the developments online.

“They’re asking questions and commenting,” Gavin said. “So this virtual community that is being built around Mott is also being engaged today.”

Gavin added that all the preparation added to the anticipation of the opening of the new building.

“Staff who have been working in the old building have been prepping for this and waiting for this,” Gavin said. “Now that it’s finally here, all this training is paying off.”

Pat Warner, executive director of the new hospital, said the transition went smoothly throughout the day, adding that staff members were prepared for any possible interruption to the move, including deliveries of babies or emergency situations like cardiac arrests.

“With a move like this, you plan every contingency you can think of,” Warner said. “Have we along the way had to make tweaks in the plan? Yes. But have there been any barriers or things we didn’t have an immediate solution to? No.”

According to Warner, there were no emergencies, but the day did not pass without some excitement. The first baby was born in the new hospital at 8:45 a.m. yesterday, before the move was completed to parents Yasmina Debieb and Ali Mahmoudi.

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